Faster velocities with copper projectiles vs. Old School lead and copper - Page 2

Faster velocities with copper projectiles vs. Old School lead and copper

This is a discussion on Faster velocities with copper projectiles vs. Old School lead and copper within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by TactiCarl A lighter projectile would yield more velocity and therefore more energy. [/url] Not necessarily. Given ENOUGH velocity, the lighter bullet will ...

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Thread: Faster velocities with copper projectiles vs. Old School lead and copper

  1. #16
    Senior Member Array BlackJack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TactiCarl View Post
    A lighter projectile would yield more velocity and therefore more energy. [/url]
    Not necessarily. Given ENOUGH velocity, the lighter bullet will provide more energy at the muzzle. However, just because the velocity is higher does not necessarily mean a greater amount of energy. There will be a point where the amount of energy will be greater for the lighter weight bullet, once it has enough velocity. However, that is still only "at the muzzle". the lighter weight bullet will also shed its velocity, and thus its energy, much faster than the heavier bullet.

    Basically, you would need to do the math to determine at what distances any given light weight bullet would have more energy than any given heavier bullet (some heavier bullets will still have a greater amount of energy at the muzzle even though they are a slightly lower velocity). Even then, you still need to take into account that that lighter bullet needs to have enough additional energy to overcome the higher rate of energy loss as it impacts and penetrates. A lighter bullet with just a little bit more energy at the time of impact will still do less damage that the heavier bullet because of how much faster it looses that energy upon impact.

    Yes, sometimes a lighter bullet is well worth it, but not always, and not just because it has a higher velocity. It comes down to being a trade off that you need to understand before you can make an educated decision.
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  2. #17
    Distinguished Member Array AZ Desertrat's Avatar
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    As always, I would buy a box or two at most....do some of your own experimentation, then decide. We are not all mad scientists...so we have to see it first.
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  3. #18
    Ex Member Array TactiCarl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackJack View Post
    Not necessarily. Given ENOUGH velocity, the lighter bullet will provide more energy at the muzzle. However, just because the velocity is higher does not necessarily mean a greater amount of energy. There will be a point where the amount of energy will be greater for the lighter weight bullet, once it has enough velocity. However, that is still only "at the muzzle". the lighter weight bullet will also shed its velocity, and thus its energy, much faster than the heavier bullet.

    Basically, you would need to do the math to determine at what distances any given light weight bullet would have more energy than any given heavier bullet (some heavier bullets will still have a greater amount of energy at the muzzle even though they are a slightly lower velocity). Even then, you still need to take into account that that lighter bullet needs to have enough additional energy to overcome the higher rate of energy loss as it impacts and penetrates. A lighter bullet with just a little bit more energy at the time of impact will still do less damage that the heavier bullet because of how much faster it looses that energy upon impact.

    Yes, sometimes a lighter bullet is well worth it, but not always, and not just because it has a higher velocity. It comes down to being a trade off that you need to understand before you can make an educated decision.
    That's why I said (in the same post you quoted me above I may add) that a light projectile is good to a point and that I don't recommend extreme light loads.

    Please show me the math in which a 155-165 grain .40 s&w is underperforming at a 10 meter or under DGU-typical range. That's the size the OP settled on if you had read the thread.

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  5. #19
    VIP Member Array Nmuskier's Avatar
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    The problem is that you are stuck in the formula. It exponentially favors velocity (at the muzzle). We need to look at how bullets behave in living tissue. Heavier for caliber bullets simply maintain more momentum through the target. Lighter is not better "to a point". Lighter is only better if your pistol cycles it better. Even then, 124 gr. 9mm, is the lightest you need in that caliber. In .40, there should be no reliability issue with the 180gr. It's not that the 155gr. is ineffective, it's that the 180 will penetrate more reliably; especially from a short barrel.

    At any rate, the lead free copper stuff is overpriced hype caused by the enviro nazis. Or is good for hunting dangerous game.
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  6. #20
    Ex Member Array TactiCarl's Avatar
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    Again, please show me the math where 155grain .40s&w is penetrating "unreliably" from a 2" barrel within 10m. You're suggesting to forego muzzle energy to get more "reliable" penetration where no penetration problem exists.

    According to Lucky Gunner 155gr Federal Hydra Shok was averaging 18.4" of penetration in ballistics gel out of a 3.42" barrel. 180gr Federal Hydra Shok averaged 16.4". So in this guys test shots he actually got more penetration out of the lighter 155grain Hydra Shok than the 180 grain counterpart. (He also got a bit more expansion and a higher muzzle velocity from 155grain hydrashok)

    Then Federal 180gr HST averaged 18.5" and 155gr averaged 17.2". I can't see any penetration problems. I know it's not the same as a 2" barrel but it's a good idea. So really, if any of these rounds penetrated much more, they would be overpenetrating according to the FBI standard. I know it's not flesh and bone but until you can produce some cadaver or animal flesh tests that say otherwise it's the best we got.

    Do you not want the penetration in order to deliver energy to the vital organs after all? But then you say muzzle energy doesn't matter.

    I know that muzzle energy doesn't equal the energy at target but it is related to it. You're never going to get the energy to increase en route - it will only decrease - so why not start with the most practical?

    Good discussion guys but unless someone wants to produce sources or data to substantiate why I'm wrong then I'm done with this thread. I've supplied data and sources to backup my opinions and all I get back are more unsubstantiated opinions. Cheers.
    Last edited by TactiCarl; August 31st, 2016 at 01:50 AM.

  7. #21
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    I like the idea of heavy and fast. Then you don't have make compromises.

    10mm:180 gr @ 1300 fps
    460 Rowland: 230 gr @ 1330 fps
    35 Whelen: 225 gr at 2700 fps
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  8. #22
    VIP Member Array Tally XD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theotherside View Post
    I like the idea of heavy and fast. Then you don't have make compromises.

    10mm:180 gr @ 1300 fps
    460 Rowland: 230 gr @ 1330 fps
    35 Whelen: 225 gr at 2700 fps
    But can you hide any of those three in a back pocket??
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  9. #23
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    I guess the term "defensive carry" is relative. I am more worried about hungry bears, mountain lions, wolves, or pissed off moose.
    PS I left out a 357 mag revolver and 44 mag lever action

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  10. #24
    Senior Member Array BlackJack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TactiCarl View Post
    That's why I said (in the same post you quoted me above I may add) that a light projectile is good to a point and that I don't recommend extreme light loads.

    Please show me the math in which a 155-165 grain .40 s&w is underperforming at a 10 meter or under DGU-typical range. That's the size the OP settled on if you had read the thread.

    Yes, I did read the thread. Did you read my response? I do not recall mentioning anything about the performance of .40 S&W at any distance.

    What I did comment on was the general assumption that just because a lighter bullet is moving at a higher velocity, it would produce higher energy.

    Since I personally do not care much for the 40 S&W (although I would never say it is a bad round, I just do not prefer it), I will put it in terms of the 9mm.

    A 115gr bullet traveling at 1225 fps has 383 ft. lbs. of energy at the muzzle.

    A 147gr bullet traveling at 990 fps has 320 ft. lbs. of energy at the muzzle.

    In this case the lighter bullet does indeed have more energy, but it is also traveling at more than 200 fps faster.

    Now if we slow the 115 gr bullet down to 1100 fps, it only has 309 ft.lbs. of energy at the muzzle.

    In this case it is still going considerably faster than the 147 gr bullet, but it certainly does not have as much energy. Thus my statement that “Given ENOUGH velocity, the lighter bullet will provide more energy at the muzzle.” BUT, just because the lighter bullet is going faster, it does not necessarily mean that it has more energy.

    As for the math… if you would like to , you can either do the math yourself, or check any of the many on-line ballistic calculators available on the Internet.

    Oh btw, the formula is KE = 1/2 mv^2 if you do decide to do the math yourself.

    To show it in ft-lbs rather than in joules you need to convert it by multiplying your answer by 1/(7000*32.163)

  11. #25
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    In 600+ years of firearms history, lead bullets have been the nearly universal choice of projectile for a reason. They work better than anything else, short of depleted uranium or other exotic metals.

    If you believe lighter is better, how about a one-grain Styrofoam bullet? Oughtta be good for about a bazillion fps.
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  12. #26
    Ex Member Array TactiCarl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kilowatt3 View Post
    In 600+ years of firearms history, lead bullets have been the nearly universal choice of projectile for a reason. They work better than anything else, short of depleted uranium or other exotic metals.

    If you believe lighter is better, how about a one-grain Styrofoam bullet? Oughtta be good for about a bazillion fps.
    To repeat myself again, I said lighter is better to a point. But if it makes you feel better to burn down a straw man argument, don't let me stop you.

    The reading comprehension on this entire bulletin board is questionable.

    If you believe heavier is better how about bazillion grain bowling ball bullet (lol eats his boogers)

  13. #27
    Ex Member Array TactiCarl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackJack View Post
    Yes, I did read the thread. Did you read my response? I do not recall mentioning anything about the performance of .40 S&W at any distance.

    What I did comment on was the general assumption that just because a lighter bullet is moving at a higher velocity, it would produce higher energy.

    Since I personally do not care much for the 40 S&W (although I would never say it is a bad round, I just do not prefer it), I will put it in terms of the 9mm.

    A 115gr bullet traveling at 1225 fps has 383 ft. lbs. of energy at the muzzle.

    A 147gr bullet traveling at 990 fps has 320 ft. lbs. of energy at the muzzle.

    In this case the lighter bullet does indeed have more energy, but it is also traveling at more than 200 fps faster.

    Now if we slow the 115 gr bullet down to 1100 fps, it only has 309 ft.lbs. of energy at the muzzle.

    In this case it is still going considerably faster than the 147 gr bullet, but it certainly does not have as much energy. Thus my statement that “Given ENOUGH velocity, the lighter bullet will provide more energy at the muzzle.” BUT, just because the lighter bullet is going faster, it does not necessarily mean that it has more energy.

    As for the math… if you would like to , you can either do the math yourself, or check any of the many on-line ballistic calculators available on the Internet.

    Oh btw, the formula is KE = 1/2 mv^2 if you do decide to do the math yourself.

    To show it in ft-lbs rather than in joules you need to convert it by multiplying your answer by 1/(7000*32.163)
    Well we were talking about .40 s&w the whole time but if you want to shift the discussion for no reason ok.

    >In this case the lighter bullet does indeed have more energy, but it is also traveling at more than 200 fps faster.
    Yes, I agree.

    >Now if we slow the 115 gr bullet down to 1100 fps, it only has 309 ft.lbs. of energy at the muzzle.
    Why would we be arbitrarily slowing down the bullet at the muzzle?? To say that when slowed (arbitrarily) that it has less energy than a heavier bullet = of course it does but bullets don't slow down arbitrarily. We're talking DGU ranges here of 10m and under. FWIW, 115 grain 9mm ammo penetrates within FBI standards.

    > BUT, just because the lighter bullet is going faster, it does not necessarily mean that it has more energy.
    I never said it would always equal more energy on target but it would to a point. That point would depend on so many variables that it would be very individualistic in nature so I can't say what that point is in every case and caliber. I've been saying lighter is better to a point the whole time. But feel free to argue against whatever points suit your fancy.

    I was trying to help the OP but I guess that failed. You guys can keep all the fat slow bullets and we can get on with our lives. I'm out.

  14. #28
    VIP Member Array 5lima30ret's Avatar
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    I think of the copper projectiles more as shrapnel which was designed to wound and is not necessarily fatal. Heavier lead/copper jacketed projectiles were designed to penetrate as one unit causing a higher probability to be fatal. Your money, your choice! I am going to stick with a bonded HP projectile from a major manufacturer that is commonly used by various law enforcement agencies. Just my .02 worth.
    Last edited by 5lima30ret; September 3rd, 2016 at 10:03 AM.
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  15. #29
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    The heaviest you can find for your gun. IMO the heavy one do more damage than the light one just because they plow on. They're made to go slow so it's better for the shorties.

    For my G29 I got Underwood 200 XTP (1250 fps). Like theotherside says, heavy and fast baby.
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  16. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kilowatt3 View Post
    In 600+ years of firearms history, lead bullets have been the nearly universal choice of projectile for a reason. They work better than anything else, short of depleted uranium or other exotic metals.

    If you believe lighter is better, how about a one-grain Styrofoam bullet? Oughtta be good for about a bazillion fps.
    Well, laser uses nothing but light, sent at light speed. With enough energy it cuts through steel, I should know as I worked for a company with a dozen laser steel cutters.
    You can't have your cake and eat it too.

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